“Understand Your Customers’ Deepest Needs and Craft
To build a successful business your offering needs to provide value to customers.
To understand whether this is the case, you need to know whom you are selling to. What are your target market’s demographics?
Don’t lazily define your customers by age, gender or income; think hard about their shared personality. What are their passions, skills and values?
Once you understand your customers, the next question is: Are they interested in your would-be product? To find out, go ahead and ask them.
Approach potential customers, either informally or via surveys, and find out if they would pay for your product.
Do they have any other problems you could solve or tweak your product to address?
An even more prudent approach is to first advertise your product to see if you get enough orders to make it viable and only then produce what has already been sold.
One car enthusiast advertised a guide for high-end cars via a magazine, and only after selling two for $900 each did he decide it was worth his while to write it.
Of course, keep in mind that sometimes what customers say they want may differ from what they actually want.
For years, airlines have received complaints about the cramped seating on planes.
But whenever an airline tries to offer more leg room at a slightly higher price, they inevitably find that people prefer to fly with cheaper, cramped competitors.
To truly be successful, you need to dig beyond superficially expressed needs and address even the unspoken ones.
Consider Kyle Hepp, a wedding photographer who is often told by wedding couples that they don’t want any traditional wedding photos whatsoever.
She still takes a few anyway because she knows the bride and groom’s families will be happy to have them.